An important part of your lock out tag out procedure has to do with ensuring that your employees know how to use the lock out tag out kits. This is something that should be included within your confined space training. It is important for them not only to understand the procedure but also know how to actually take the necessary steps to use the lockout tagout kits.
The lock out tag out kits consist of a 10 step program. The steps to this program are as follows:
1. Employees must be educated and trained to use these lock out tag out kits. This is something that needs to happen continually throughout the year.
2. Energy and power sources such as electricity and gas need to be identified.
3. Look for any energy that may have been stored within the equipment. Use caution here as there may be some hidden dangers such as coiled springs, raised loads or blades, a charged capacitor and pressure lines for steam or gas.
4. Determine in what order the machinery needs to be powered down. This is important because if it’s done wrong it could create a dangerous situation.
5. All of the power controls must be turned off. Sometimes there may be multiple power controls. If you can’t lock out the equipment you’ll need to at least tag it.
6. Lock, tag, block, bleed or vent the specific energy sources.
7. Clear the area of all employees and make sure that the controls really are off.
8. Now that you’ve used your lock out tag out kits to ensure that everything is off you can perform whatever maintenance is necessary.
9. Once the maintenance has been completed you’ll want to remove all of the locks, tags and devices so that you can power up again. This is to only be done by the person who actually installed the lockout devices. Now the power can be turned back on.